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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Fred M. Shelley

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[This information is from Vol. III, p. 118 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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A son of a family which is numbered among the early settlers of the Mohawk Valley, at one time a prominent and influential figure in the financial circles of Rome, Oneida county, New York, Fred M. Shelley is now the owner and manager of a leading insurance and investment business in the city of Rome, serving hundreds of the citizens in the safe investment of their surplus funds. He was born in Rome, on July 21, 1864, the son of Henry S. and Jane Elizabeth (Orton) Shelley, his father being a native of New Hampshire and his mother a native of Connecticut. They were married in Rome, New York, in 1840, but had lived in the city for some time prior to their marriage. Henry S. Shelley, the father, was in the clothing business in Rome and died at the age of seventy-four, and the mother died at the age of ninety-two. They were the parents of two sons and one daughter, Fred M. of this review being their youngest child.

Fred M. Shelley's education was obtained in the public schools of Rome and at the Rome Free Academy, and he began his business career as a newsboy, in which occupation he persisted for two years, leaving the newspaper business to enter the insurance office of G. W. G. Kinney. After three years he entered the employ of J. H. Searles, with whom he also remained three years, following which he was with the First National Bank of Rome until its consolidation with the Rome Trust Company. He began his service in the bank as a teller, winning promotion to assistant cashier, cashier, and president, and when the consolidation of the two institutions was accomplished he was made president of the Trust Company, a position which he held for two years before he resigned. Mr. Shelley then established the insurance and investment business which he now conducts. He has interests in a number of Rome business and financial concerns, and is secretary and treasurer of the Spargo Wire Company, a director of the Williams Brothers Manufacturing Company and the Rome Trust Company, vice president of the Rome Savings Bank, and president of the Rome Cemetery Association. During the World war Mr. Shelley was one of the most active workers on the Liberty Loan and Red Cross drives, as well as in all other war activities. When the Rome board of public works was established Mr. Shelley was its first chairman. He is a republican in his political views, and while not a member of any religious denomination he attends the Baptist church. Fraternally Mr. Shelley is affiliated with the Masonic order, and also belongs to the Rome Chamber of Commerce, the Rome Club and the Teugega Country Club.

Mr. Shelley was married in Chicago, Illinois, in 1890, to Miss Bessie P. Smith of Portland, Oregon, and the children born to them are: Frederick M., Jr., Percy W. and Marian S., the latter now Mrs. D. T. Wetmore. Both sons served in the World war. Frederick M., Jr., was first lieutenant of infantry, stationed at Newark, New Jersey; and Percy W. was first lieutenant in the infantry, stationed in Georgia.

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